Oh The Places You'll Go

Oh, The Places You’ll Go! – by Dr Seuss

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Oh, The Places You’ll Go! – by Dr Seuss

Oh, The Places You’ll Go may look like a kids book (and it is) but we’ve dug out some serious life lessons that link up with a whole bunch of other ideas we’ve read in other ‘real’ books. This one is a must-read, it’ll take you less than 10 minutes.

We pulled out our top 5 lessons, and we’d love to hear yours too – email us any time at podcast@whatyouwilllearn.com to tell us what you thought.

Grab a bunch of copies of the book here and give them as gifts: https://www.bookdepository.com/Oh–The-Places-You-ll-Go-/9780007413577/?a_aid=adamsbooks

Oh, The Places You’ll Go Summary

“You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose”

Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr Seuss, was a true master of his craft. Google told us that he wrote “at least 43 books”, Wikipedia says “more than 60”, either way he wrote A LOT of great ‘kids books’. But more amazing than the funny like drawings and a colourful characters you see as a kid are some of the life lessons you can pull out of these simple books as an adult. Reading it as an adult, and reading this after reading 200+ other books, you interpret things from a completely different perspective. Because you’re not sitting down to read a text book and you’re not expecting to learn something profound, the lessons can sneak up and catch you by surprise. A quick count says that this book is only 944 words long. It’ll take you 7 minutes to read. This write up that we did is over 1,100 words, and we’re just scratching the surface on the lessons we pulled out of this short and simple little book. This is definitely one you should go and read for yourself – it’ll be quicker than reading our write up and you’ll learn different lessons of your own. 


Be Proactive and Accept Responsibility

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own and you know what you know, and YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.” 

Ultimately, it’s up to us. We have the brain, we have the feet – we can go wherever we want to go. Unfortunately, many people don’t realise that they have this power. Instead of consciously choosing for themselves, they’re passive and they get buffeted around by others. If you don’t accept the responsibility and shape your own path, someone else will gladly do it for you (but it will serve their interests, not yours).


Get outside your comfort zone

It’s opener there, in the wide open air. Out there things can happen, and frequently do, to people as brainy and footsy as you“. 

Take a risk. Try something new. Do something different. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. Be the type of person who is willing to venture a little beyond what they’re comfortable with – you’re more likely to learn something new about yourself and about the world around you. And the more brainy and footy you are, the more you’ve developed your skills and worked on improving yourself, the more likely you are that something will happen for you. 


Prepare for it not to work: Failure is inevitable

I’m sorry to say, but sadly it’s true, that bang ups and hang ups can happen to you… You’ll come down from your lurch with an unpleasant bump, and chances are then that you’ll be in a slump. And when you’re in a slump you’re not in for much fun, un-slumping yourself is not easily done“. 

Not everything works all of the time. If you’re getting outside your comfort zone, if you’re trying new things, if you’re taking risks, then some of them won’t work out. ‘Risk’ is the chance that things won’t go according to plan – the upside of risk that you can gain something you didn’t expect, but the downside of course is that it doesn’t work out. But the good doctor says “don’t worry, don’t stew” – it’s not going to be fun, but things will get better. If you anticipate that a slump might be coming then you won’t be as wounded when it arrives. And whilst it’s hard to un-slump yourself… don’t give out and retreat back to your comfort zone, keep pushing and “somehow you’ll escape”.


Avoid ‘The Waiting Place’

… headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place.. For people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go, or a bus to come, to a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or a No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting“.

Don’t procrastinate. Don’t be one of those people who’s just waiting. Don’t wait for someone to choose you, get out there and pick yourself instead. The people in The Waiting Place aren’t the types of people you want to associate with. They’re not out there in the wide open air. They’re not taking action and trying cool new things. They’re not the ones on the upward trajectory. They probably don’t have any bumps and slumps in their road because they’re not going anywhere worth going. 


Have a goal and constantly work towards it

Kid, you’ll move mountains. So be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray, or Mordecai Ali van Allen O’Shea, You’re off to great places, today is your day! You’re mountain is waiting, so… get on your way.

We all have a mountain waiting for us. Following the instruction in this book we CAN move it, but it’s up to us. We need to identify our mountain, find where it is, and work out how to move it. It not easy, of course. Moving a mountain is hard work. But with consistent action and moving it little by little each day, by constantly working towards our goals, one day we’ll look back in astonishment at how much we’ve achieved. 


And will you succeed? Yes! You will, Indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed)“.


Check out this link to see if this incredible book made it to our Top 50

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